Melasma is usually a benign condition whereby patches of dark colored skin appear, usually on the face. Most melasma treatment has usually been temporary; this is unfortunate, because melasma may cause psychological difficulties for people who suffer from it, given that they think it negatively affects their physical appearance. Melasma can also be very expensive to treat, with creams that cause fading generally costing between $20-$200 per tube. Melasma treatment can also include the use of Fraxal laser, but this can be as expensive as well, costing between $600 and $1500 a treatment. Therefore, although these are among the things that can be a temporary melasma treatment, they can certainly get expensive, most especially as time goes on.
It’s also unfortunate that melasma sufferers may feel that the melasma may limit career options because employers do often not understand the nature of hyper-pigmentation. For example, they may put sufferers under fluorescent lighting or in hot conditions for long periods of time, all of which can exacerbate severity of the brown patches. Because of this, melasma sufferers may also begin to withdraw from work related activities, and may avoid traveling for work, for example, or attending conferences or other networking opportunities that could further their careers. Melasma can certainly limit sufferers’ activities professionally, but it can also impact them socially because they don’t want to be seen without makeup in any situation, including those that include leisure activities or sports, for example.
Many believe that melasma is made worse by stress. Because of this, melasma sufferers already feel psychologically and emotionally burdened by melasma in social situations — and this can actually make the melasma worse, simply because sufferers worry about it all the time.
Because of this, stress is not only an important factor in the severity of melasma, but in its triggers. That is, melasma causes stress, and can actually “flare up” when someone suffering from melasma is under significant stress. The inception and outcomes of these types of stress will differ from person to person, but in most cases, anxiety and stress most certainly do impact melasma and its severity. No one quite knows why stress and anxiety trigger melasma, because it’s a complicated process. This is especially true for medical professionals who don’t specialize in melasma. Because of this, those who suffer from melasma are often left with inadequate information on how they can more effectively manage the lives so that they minimize melasma and its effects as much as possible.
Sufferers do often find the effective melasma “treatment” themselves simply by utilizing stress reduction techniques and removing stress from their lives whenever possible. Indeed, many have found significant improvement in their melasma when they’ve undertaken these steps. Because of this, it’s even more imperative that holistic approaches be used in melasma treatment and its eventual cure.